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February 6th, 2010

windmills and wind farms


I asked my friend, Dwayne, who lives near Lake Huron, what he’d do if someone offered him money to put a windmill on his property. This is his answer:


We have been approached already. The promise of $10,000.00 is very appealing. However there are some real concerns.

Did you know there are 40 tons of concrete under each tower? Did you know there are nearly 10 gallons of oil in the gear boxes? Did you know that a broken end of a blade can throw a windmill out of balance enough to topple the tower? Did you know that once the tower has lived out it's economic life, the company can walk away from it scot free and leave the landowner stuck with the clean-up?

I've seen over 40 cars have to get painted at Pickering because the gear box sprayed oil all over the parking lot.

One night when Pat was teaching at a computer class in Kincardine, a 120 foot wind turbine got wrecked and toppled when the tip got smashed against the tower by gusting winds and the resulting imbalance tore down the tower. It fell on the control monitoring shack next to it and was a 2.5 million dollar write-off.

Ice flies off the blades. The sound of the gear box sends my wife fleeing if she is anywhere within 200 meters of the tower. I myself can't even hear it. (Drummer's ears I suppose.)

We already have 121 towers within easy biking distance of our house. We are not putting one on our property at this time. Maybe as we approach bankruptcy we would and leave the mess for our kids to clean up.

February 3rd, 2010

Exercising the mind

Dianne and I went to our first lecture of the WLU series on the polar regions. Was good, even if we didn't get a free polar bear.

After my noon nap I went to that new area down my way. I forget what it's called, but I put on my running shoes, put my earbuds into my ears, and walked the walking track. There were, at peak, one woman running, ten people walking, and one guy pushing a rollator. I was one of the walkers, by the way, and walked my way through one entire Quirks and Quarks.

It was the episode with the ten biggest questions in science, which, if I remember, included things like "what's in empty space?", "is reality real?" and "does time exist?"

It was quite entertaining, except near the end where I was walking into supporting beams and my brains were leaking out my nostrils.

February 1st, 2010

happy febuary

It's going to be a great Febuary.

January 5th, 2010

more on the pipeline


January 4th, 2010

Mackenzie Valley Pipeline



January 3rd, 2010

For the Birds

For Christmas I got a nice red barn-shaped bird feeder that's supposed to be squirrel proof. Since there are new types every year, I get suspicious, but it's a nice addition to the view and it's worked so far.

The birds land on a bar, set so that the weight of a squirrel makes the bar move down, and access to the seed is blocked.

Of course, if too many birds land on the bar, the effect is the same. Greedy little avian welfare bums.


(no subject)


It's snowing, which is probably not a surprise here.

I also have finch feeders and a suet basket.

I went over to Wendy's to start on my next novel.

January 2nd, 2010


Hello, blogiverse.

Zombie attack tomorrow at midnight.
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